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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 12 April 2015


The old adage that one should not  judge a book by its cover could fit  perfectly on the life and times of the ravishing beauty that is the Taita Taveta women rep Joyce Wanjalah Lay. But the plain speaking woman who has been in the news of sexual harassment accusations could well be like the beauty of a tigress! Those who know her well say underneath the beauty lies a dark past that is threatening to truncate her infant political career.
Lay shot to national limelight when she sensationally accused Turbo MP Elisha Busienei of sexual harassment during a  trip to Tokyo last March. Her accusations against the first-time MP, however have nothing to do with the divorce case because the court proceedings were on.
Born in 1973, in Mariwenyi village in Taita Taveta county, the daughter of a former Administration Police officer began life on a wrong footing; she conceived while in Form Two at Mwandango Secondary School, a harambee school so-called, cutting short her education, thus landing a job as a househelp. Two years later her life took a turn for the worst when her father passed on and few months later her son passed on due to yellow fever.
After life became unbearable she tried her hand on menial jobs in Voi town after which she moved to Mombasa and later Malindi. It is in Malindi that she met her mzungu husband Bill Lay who was then general manager at GM Motors and later CEO of CMC. Lay is now chairman of East African Portland Company.
The sad part of it is that her marriage started heading to the rocks when Lay discovered that she could not conceive after she  underwent a surgery to remove her uterus.
As they say money almost answereth everything. She was able to get a surrogate mother, whom after ferterlisation the embryo was taken from Joyce and put in the surrogate mother who carried it for nine months and delivered a mzungu boy named Terrence who is four years old now, the surrogate mother was paid a cool Sh1m.  The Lays have settled in Taita and have built a palatial home in Mlawa, in Wundanyi contituency.
Joyce’s entry to politics was faced by a lot of opposition due to many people in her county who knew her past and her education background. It is alleged she is a Form Two drop out, though she later allegedly acquired a Form Four certificate that she used to gain entry to a parallel programme at the University of Nairobi where she is a third year pursuing a political science degree.
It is claimed that it was her husband who wanted to contest the senatorial seat but this came  a cropper after it emerged that the county residents were not for the idea, and so he pushed his wife for the women rep position.
During the campaigns, matters became murky and her past came to haunt her, her advantage was that she was in ODM which was the party of choice in Coast and Taita Taveta county. Those in the know claim she got her ODM ticket through sexual favours and money exchanging hands at the ODM secretariat with the name of Eliud Owalo featuring prominently.
As old habits die hard, during the campaigns she was allegedly involved in sexual scandals with senatorial loser and Wiper candidate Mwakazi Mtongolo. Apparently a woman with hot pants  she is alleged to have also been involved in sexual escapades with young men who were in her campaign team leading to one Jimmy Tole separating with his wife over the affair. Not to worry the wealthy, MP later built her lover Tole a house and funded  him into a boda boda business as compensation.
The Taita beauty is also alleged to have had an affair with Sanghani, a mining Asian tycoon of Wanjalah Mining which is based in Kishushe, Wundanyi constituency.
During New Year celebrations, she allegedly drunk herself into a stupor at a popular club in Mombasa and was found by attendants in a compromising situation with unidentified man in her car.
On his partm the mzungu man has also not been idle as he is alleged to have been spotted at a popular hotel along Mombasa road with one Mwende who is an activist and a member of Bunge la Mwananchi. It is rumoured the mzungu who has had constant quarrels with his wife has resorted to having a steamy affair with Mwende.
A remark that Joyce made during Mashujaa Day last year has not gone down well with men and also women who accuse her of underrating their husbands and sons. Constituents accuse her of arrogance and being inaccessible to women and youth of her county who elected her with 66,000 votes.
Indeed it is the least to say that she has dug an early political grave and the ground is shifting and they regret why they did not elect Priscillah Mwangeka a former longserving councillor in Voi, and mayor in the former Voi Municipal Council who came number two on a Wiper ticket. Although the women rep now wants to become deputy governor and a running mate of Senator Mwazo who will be going for the governor’s seat in 2017, it will be an uphill task convincing the electorate to elect her.
It is now emerging that she is facing divorce proceedings from her husband over ‘irreconcilable” differences. In a divorce case filed at the Milimani Commercial Courts on February 22, Lay has petitioned the court to dissolve the marriage which has irretrievably broken down.
According to court papers, the marriage union has broken down and is untenable after all efforts at reconciliation proved futile as the parties have been living separately “because there are no reasonable prospects that the marriage can be salvaged”.
Still, even as she is accused by her foes of having loose pants, there are those who are doubting this saying that had it been true,  Busienei would not have had it so difficult as to harrass her.